If you ever have the luxury and time to visit Thailand, Chiang Mai is a city that cannot be missed. although Thailand is most known for its spectacular beaches, metropolitan capital and plentiful lady boys, many people forget the beauty that surround its mountain side villages. according to wikipedia, Chiang Mai is the largest and most culturally significant city in northern Thailand. It is only a $25 overnight train ride or a short $40 flight from Bangkok. We spent 4 days in Chiang Mai, 3 of which was with eagle house treks. it was one of the best experiences of my life. http://www.eaglehouse.com/.

for about $50 total, we received:

  • 3 day trek through chiang mai’s mountain side, rice paddies and jungle
  • guides and food porters
  • a trip to the market where our guides purchased live chickens and fresh veggies for our next 3 days worth of meals
  • all meals cooked by our guides
  • elephant ride
  • lodging in villagers huts with no electricity or bathroom
  • showers in the murky river (and stares from locals who have never seen a bikini before)
  • tree leaves as toilet paper
  • a bamboo raft ride (built by our guides) back home through rapids
  • a near death experience falling off our raft (ok slight exaggeration)
  • trip to Chiang Mai’s largest temple

it was definitely the best adventure i’ve ever had. below are the pictures from our trek:

descriptions:
1. trekking 2. bridge we had to cross 3. our dinner table and bed 4. fried rice lunch packed by our guides 5. elephant ride 6. rice paddies 7. our raft back home (note that it is almost sinking) 8. countryside scenery

3 recommendations for a 3 night stay in chiang mai:

  1. 2-day Eagle House trek (you can pick anywhere from 1 – 4 night treks)
  2. book a room at Tamarind Village for your 3rd night
    http://www.tamarindvillage.com/index.htm
    it is such a nice luxury hotel – our room in the summer was only $80/night. (by far my fave hotel during our 1 month trip)
    make sure you book through asiarooms.com ahead of time for the cheaper rate
  3. check out the night market on your 3rd night
    according to One Stop Chiang Mai: the chiang mai night market is considered legendary and certainly one the cheapest places for tourists to shop in Thailand, due its close proximity to the source of products and the lower cost of living in Chiang Mai. It is situated along a three block stretch of Chan Klan road in the heart of the city, within walking distance of most hotels. Clustered around it are many restaurants and other useful services, such as camera shops, travel agents, internet cafes and more. One popular activity is to have your portrait done all dressed up in traditional Thai costume.
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